Contemporary Hand Spinning

It would be wrong to assume that technological improvements were destined to replace traditional methods all over the world. Hand spinning is still done with all styles of spindles and spinning wheels in many part of Southeast and Central Asia, the Near East, Africa, and Latin America.

In industrially developed countries, hand spinning has become an enjoyable pastime. Excellent spindles, spinning wheels, and looms, and a wide selection of fibers, are available. Many industrialized countries have guilds of spinners and weavers, which meet to share skills and information.

Many art museums have collections of old textiles in which one can see quality that equals or surpasses anything produced by twenty-first century industry. There are excellent art history books in which one can study clothing in paintings of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Magnificent gilded cut velvets, satins, brocades, and laces are depicted in pictures that were painted on hand-spun, hand-woven canvas.


Ciba Reviews, numbers 14, 20, 27, 28, 48, and 64. Basel, 1939-1948.

Encyclopedia of Textiles. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1972.

Hochberg, Bette. Handspindles. Santa Cruz, Calif.: B and B Hochberg, 1977.

-. Spin Span Spun. Santa Cruz, Calif.: B and B Hochberg,


Montell, Gosta. Spinning Tools and Spinning Methods in Asia.

Stockholm: Tryckeri Aktiebolaget Thule, 1941. Singer, Charles, E. J. Holmyard, and A. R. Hall. History of Technology. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954. Weir, Shelagh. Spinning and Weaving in Palestine. London: The

British Museum, 1970. Wild, J. P. Textile Manufacture in the Northern Roman Provinces.

Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1970. Wilson, Kax. A History of Textiles. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1979.

Bette Hochberg

SPINNING MACHINERY The machinery for spinning threads and yarns has evolved from hand spinning flax into linen using a spindle in Egypt as long ago as 4,500 B.C.E. to computer-controlled open-end spinning in 2000 C.E. The evolution of textile processing has been a major contributor to technical development in general. The Romans founded colleges, essentially the first agricultural experiment stations, at which enhancements of the methods for flax and wool production were developed and disseminated throughout their empire. Yarn spinning is needed to impart strength and continuity to collections of fibers, particularly if they are discontinuous. Fibers as short as one inch (2.5 cm) can be formed into continuous yarns by twisting them around each other and, if the fibers have a natural twist, such as cotton, the limit can be as short as 3/8 inch (1 cm).

By around 3,500 B.C.E. the Egyptians started using cotton as a fiber and a parallel development occurred in Peru around 3,000 B.C.E. Since the cotton fibers are round while growing but flatten and become ribbonlike when dry, the shorter fibers can be twisted into a yarn using a supported spindle. However, since cotton was difficult to spin prior to the development of more mechanized spinning techniques, it was not used extensively in Europe until the industrial revolution.

An important early mechanical innovation for spinning was to attach a whorl, or flywheel, at the lower end of the spindle in order to facilitate rapid rotation, which resulted in an increase in the production rate. In India around 750 C.E. the Charkha, or Jersey Wheel, was developed by mounting the spindle on a frame, and rotated by connection to a wheel, with a treadle being added by the Chinese. Still, the spinning process was discontinuous because the drafting, that is drawing out of the fibers, and twisting were carried out in separate steps. Leonardo da Vinci contributed the flyer, which allows the twisting and winding to be carried out continuously and simultaneously, leading to development in the sixteenth century of an efficient way of spinning that was used for a long time. Subsequently the feeding and drafting of the fibers became the rate-limiting steps in the spinning process, until significant improvements occurred in the eighteenth century: John Wyatt introduced the concept of drafting rollers in 1733, being incorporated by Richard Arkwright into the Water Frame spinning machine. In 1770 James Hargreaves invented a spinning machine named the Spinning Jenny in which the stretching and twisting were mechanized. In 1779 Samuel Crompton combined the concepts of incorporating the drafting rollers, stretching, and twisting into an enhanced spinning machine—which he dubbed the Mule—but it was still a discontinuous process. Charles Danforth's throstle and John Thorpe's frame and traveler are the precursors of the modern continuous ring spinning machines, which revolutionized textile machinery. As a result the spinning speed was limited only by the maximum traveler speed, determined by heat generated due to friction in ring frame.

Until the development of the break spinning, or open-end spinning, drafting and twisting took place concurrently. In open-end spinning, drafting, twisting, and winding are completely separated. The drafting stage ends up with the creation of a stream of individual or single fibers at a point on the spinning line where the air velocity is at its maximum. Subsequently, twisting begins in the "condensation stage," where the velocity is decreased enabling the assembly and twisting of multiple fibers to form yarns, of which fineness depends on the drafting ratio. The most important advantage of open-end spinning is its very high productivity, the package size depending on the winder and not on the spinning device, as is the case with ring spinning.

There are many ways to perform open-end spinning, but rotor spinning seems to be one of the best air-mechanical ways to enhance the technology. As of the early 2000s high performance rotor spinning units can run at speeds up to 150,000 revolutions per minute, delivering yarn are the rate of 235 meters per minute. They produce large packages of yarn in contrast to ring spinning bobbins that are limited by the size of the spindle.

A critical aspect of yarn spinning from the early spindles to the modern ring spinning and open-end methods is imparting twist to the fibers making up the yarn to provide cohesion and strength. In all cases, that is imparted by taking up the yarn on a rotating device with the collection of fibers being fed either parallel to the long axis of the rotating device or at an angle less than 90 degrees to it. If the fibers were fed perpendicular to the axis of the rotating device, no twist would be imposed. This twisting is accomplished with a spindle by having the fibers fed almost parallel to the long axis of the spindle. For the early spinning wheel this was accomplished by feeding the fibers at an angle onto a mule (a rotating rod), so that they would move toward the opposite end of the take up. In ring spinning the traveler is a guide that spins around the take up guiding the lay down of the fibers (sometimes under computer control) and the traveler is fed nearly parallel to the long axis of the take up. In open-end spinning the fibers are deposited on the inside of a rotating drum after being fed into one end of the drum.

See also Yarns. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baines, Patricia. Spinning Wheels: Spinners and Spinning. New

York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977. Benson, Anna P. Textile Machines. Aylesbury, U.K.: Shire Publications, 1983. Shire Album 103. Catling, Harold. The Spinning Mule. Newton Abbot, U.K.:

David and Charles, 1970. Dyson, Eric, ed. Rotor Spinning: Technical and Economic Aspects.

Stockport, U.K.: The Textile Trade Press, 1975. English, Walter. The Textile Industry. London: Longmans, 1969. Lord, P. R., ed. Spinning in the '70s. Watford, U.K.: Merrow

Publishing Company, Ltd., 1970. Wilson, Kax. A History of Textiles. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1979.

John R. Collier and Simioan Petrovan

SPORT SHIRT The term "sport shirt" describes any of several styles of shirt originally designed and worn for sporting pursuits, but in the early 2000s are incorporated into the broader category of informal or leisure wear. Examples include polo shirts, rugby shirts, and short-sleeved shirts cut similarly to business shirts but in less formal fabrics and colors, and with collars designed to be worn open.

It is almost impossible to discuss a man's wardrobe without mentioning the importance of sportswear in providing some of its key silhouettes throughout recent history. With the decline (and in some places the actual demise) of the suit in the workplace, and by default the shirt and tie, and the rise of "dress down," or business casual, men have looked to the clothing they wear in their leisure time as the basis for both adherence to sartorial standards and the display of individual taste. For many, regardless of sporting intention or not, these items tend to have either a sporting association (possibly by celebrity endorsement) or have a dual purpose as sports and casual dress item. Sport shirts play a vital role in the dress-down wardrobe. They are readily available, accessible price-wise, and require little thought when being coordinated with other items.

The polo shirt is a classic example of sportswear filtering through to the mainstream as a fashion staple. Designed for the rigours of the polo pitch during the nineteenth century, the polo shirt was later adapted for the tennis court. The tennis version designed during the 1930s by René Lacoste was welcomed with enthusiasm by the rich and famous on the French Riviera.

With the rise of the leisure-wear market during the 1970s (when many men broke with the tradition of wearing a shirt and tie both during the week as well as on the weekend), the polo shirt was adopted into the working wardrobe and was also worn with jeans or unstructured slacks for leisure time. This marked the advent of an era when men and women began to put comfort first as a criterion for choosing their clothing.

Although Lacoste pioneered the sports-shirt look, Adidas, Fred Perry, Ben Sherman, and (in particular) Ralph Lauren championed the look from the 1980s onward. During this period, its popularity coincided with rise of style tribes such as the mods, casuals, B-boys, and skins. Each group incorporated a particular manufacturer's version to create its individual look.

During the same period, the generally small and inconspicuous monograms that had been tastefully embroidered on many of these shirts (Lacoste's crocodile, Lauren's polo player) were imitated and enlarged by rival companies (Henry Cotton used a fly fisherman, Fiorucci a triangle). Logos and branding came to be an integral part of the look of some polo shirts, rugby shirts, and other leisure wear. The look would be picked up and exploited by many designers and brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Chipie, Nike, Benetton, and Diesel.

The rugby shirt, like the polo shirt, originated in a jersey garment worn for a particular sport. The standard rugby shirt, with a knit collar and broad stripes (originally in team colors) moved off the playing field and into the leisure wardrobe in the mid-twentieth century and has remained a staple item of male casual dress.

The American men's outfitter Brooks Brothers was instrumental in developing sports shirts derived from the white shirt that had become standard business wear in the early twentieth century. The company introduced madras cotton shirts (in bright stripes and plaids) in the 1920s, cut similarly to business shirts (though looser-

fitting) but intended to be worn without a necktie. And at least according to legend, John Brooks, president of Brooks Brothers, noticed at a polo match in England that the players had their collars pinned down in order to stop them flapping in the wind. Taking this idea back to America, he developed it into the Brooks trademark button-down collar shirt. Originally intended to be worn, like the polo shirt, as a sports shirt (that is, without a tie and with its top button unbuttoned), the button-down collared shirt was adopted in the 1950s as part of the Ivy League look, worn with a tie, sports jacket, and casual slacks; it is a look that has endured.

See also Polo Shirt; Sports Jacket. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barnes, Richard. Mods! London: Plexus Publishing Limited, 1979.

Byrde, Penelope. The Male Image: Men's Fashion in England

1300-1970. London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1979. Chenoune, Farid. A History of Men's Fashion. Paris: Flammarion, 1993.

De Marley, Diana. Fashion for Men: An Illustrated History. London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1985. Schoeffler, O. E., and William Gale. Esquire's Encyclopedia of 20th Century Fashions. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973.

Tom Greatrex

SPORT SHOES Athletic footwear has become ubiquitous since the mid-1950s, and it is easy to forget that sport shoes were initially designed for a specific pur-pose—for functionality, comfort, and to maximize athletic performance. As diverse as traditional footwear itself, athletic shoes fall into the following categories: running/training/walking, court sports, field sports, winter sports, outdoor sports, track and field, and specialty shoes (i.e. gymnastics, weight lifting, water, etc.).

Shoe development dates back 10,000 years, stemming from the need for protection from rough terrain. Egyptians used sandals for ball games as far back as 2050 B.C.E. Ancient Roman spiked military shoes called "caliga" were used as weapons against opponents. Greek athletes in the ancient Olympics preferred running barefoot before adopting sandals in the eighth century B.C.E.

Until 1860, more attention was given to style and fashion rather than to functionality—particularly for women. Sport shoes, if worn at all, did not differentiate much from each other and imitated the handmade styles and leather construction of traditional footwear. Skating boots, for example, were merely adaptations of high-cut Victorian style street boots with blades. Leather bars were sometimes placed across the soles of soccer shoes for traction. Football and baseball players wore identical highcut leather shoes before cleats were introduced in 1890 and fashion determined the height of the boot.

Early 20th Century Baseball
Early twentieth-century sport shoes. Sport shoes began to appear in the late 1800s, as increased time for leisure led to the rising popularity of sports in general. © Sandro Vannini/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.

The popularity of recreational sports, previously restricted to the wealthy upper class, developed in the late nineteenth century as a response to increased amounts of leisure time by the general public. Public interest in sports coincided with the marathon era and the beginning of the modern Olympics. Of significant importance was the advent of the canvas sport shoe—adopting the term "sneaker" in 1873—that followed Charles Goodyear's 1839 development of vulcanized rubber. From croquet to running, boating, tennis, and bicycling, this multipurpose shoe influenced street fashion with its variations of sateen, canvas, or buckskin uppers and black or brown leather bands.

It was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that mass production of shoes made athletic footwear readily available to the general public. The first great athletic shoemakers, including Joseph W. Foster for Reebok, the Dassler brothers, Marquis Converse, and Leon Leonwood Bean (L.L. Bean) arose at this time. Increased competition in sports accelerated the quest for developing more comfortable, better-performing, flat-soled shoes. As amateur athletes became professional, they influenced the maturity of sports and athletic shoes became more specialized.

By the 1930s, athletic shoe companies J. E. Sullivan and G. L. Pearce of the Spalding Company, the Dassler brothers (who later split into Adidas, Inc. and Puma, Inc.), Richings of the Riley Company (later renamed New Balance), Chuck Taylor of Converse, and J. Law of England became internationally recognized. Vulcanized rubber sole tennis and basketball shoes, traditionally in black and white shades, were now offered in a variety of colors. Skating boots with Nordic pin binding, previously in black and brown, became available for ladies in white. Interchangeable cleats and nailed-on studs were used for field and winter sports, and track shoes became lighter and more functional.

Out of sheer necessity, protection and function were major factors in the design of many sport shoes. In 1935, inspired by near-fatal accidents involving footwear, Vitale Bramani invented a multipurpose-soled mountain boot and Paul Sperry created a non-slip sole for boating.

L.L. Bean launched his company in 1911 with leather and rubber galoshes that served as a solution to chronically wet feet during his hunting expeditions.

As competition increased on the Olympic track fields and collegiate basketball courts following World War II, better-performing, lighter-weight athletic shoes were highly sought after. Keds and the Converse "sneaker" basketball shoe led the American athletic market while simultaneously becoming an American postwar youth symbol when worn with blue jeans on the streets. Onit-suka Tiger, formed in 1949 and forerunner to the brand Asics, introduced new materials such as nylon uppers and blown rubber wedges and midsoles on their shoes for longdistance runners. New Balance also catered to this group by introducing width fittings and engineering shoes with rippled soles for traction and heel wedges for shock absorption. Bob Lange's mono-bloc polyurethane injected downhill ski boot invented in 1957 was voted the most innovative shoe construction of the century a decade later.

European manufacturers Adidas and Puma dominated the athletic footwear market in the international sports of soccer, tennis, and track, as they aligned themselves with winning collegiate and professional teams to promote the performance image of their shoes. Adidas's leather basketball stitched-shell shoe construction, for example, was launched, outfitting half the UCLA and Houston players in their national championship competition. Along with Tiger in Japan, they gave birth to centralized sport-shoe marketing and early biomechanical shoe designing.

By the end of the 1970s, the U.S. sports scene evolved into a more general pursuit of individual fitness. American sport shoe pioneers Bill Bowerman, Jeff Johnson, and Phil Knight (founders of Nike, Inc.) introduced major innovations ranging from nylon uppers and full-length cushioned midsoles to running shoes, the waffle sole, air cushioning, and a variable width lacing system. Meanwhile, traditional U.S. sport shoe companies also began to compete internationally with Europeans and Japanese with "pseudo-athletic" styles to cater to this new market. Reebok, catering to the trend toward fitness activities at the time, created a soft napa leather athletic shoe aimed specifically at the female consumer in 1982.

Spearheaded by the running boom in the United States, sport shoe design went beyond material composition to encompass biomechanical ergonomic footwear design. Biomechanical, electronic, and computer testing were added to the old practice of wear testing. Ratings of running shoes in the magazine Runner's World (established in 1975) also intensified product development improvements. Advanced technological and biomechanical research has made athletic shoes more specialized, more functional, more technical, and more expensive.

Sport shoe companies, once a humble and modest specialized segment seeking practical solutions to footwear problems, developed into trendsetting multibillion-dollar lifestyle brands since the 1950s. Professionalism through

Spinning Specialized
Golf shoes. By the end of the twentieth century, specialized sport shoes, such as these golf shoes and spikes, were available for a wide variety of athletic activities, as well as for everyday wear. © Royalty-Free/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.

televised sporting events and sports star endorsements has dramatically increased the public's interest in sports. Advanced science, athletic professionalism, and an increasing population seeking more comfortable lifestyles in the second half of the twentieth century, has provided an environment that allows sport shoes to become even more pervasive in the future of fashion and apparel.

See also Sneakers; Sportswear. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cavanagh, Peter R. The Running Shoe Book. Mountain View,

Calif.: Anderson World, 1980. Cheskin, Melvyn P. The Complete Handbook of Athletic Footwear. New York: Fairchild Publications, 1987. Provides an in-depth analysis of sport shoes, including their history, their technical construction, and contemporary approaches in marketing and advertising. Farrelly, Liz, ed. The Sneaker Book. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1998. A global collection of opinions covering trendsetting sneakers as social phenomenon. Heard, Neal. Sneakers. London: Carlton Books Limited, 2003. American collector's manual of classic athletic footwear in the twentieth century. Rexford, Nancy E. Women's Shoes in America, 1795-1930. Kent, Ohio, and London: The Kent State University Press, 2000.

Includes a chapter on women's sport shoes and the relationship between shoe styles and gender roles in American culture.

Angel Chang

SPORTS JACKET A sports jacket is a short single-breasted coat, originally men's wear but in the early 2000s worn by both men and women. Similar to a suit jacket in fit, detailing, and fabrication, it is usually less shaped than a suit jacket. Originally intended to be worn in the country for sporting pursuits, the sports jacket is often seen in many other contexts as well. Its nineteenth-century ancestor, the original Norfolk jacket, was made of tweed, checked, or herringbone woolen cloth, and was cut quite differently from the sports jacket of the early twenty-first century. The Norfolk jacket was not simply the jacket of a country suit, but a suit jacket designed with a particular purpose in mind; it was intended for, and could only be afforded by, the rich for leisure pursuits.

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100 Fashion Tips

100 Fashion Tips

One of the most important things you need to take note of about becoming fashionable is to get fitter. Therefore, if you are carrying some extra pounds, then you should lose some of it soon. You can do it through dieting, working out, or a good combination of both. Find more fashion tips like this one within this guide.

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